Women Take Over Factory Work during World War II
It is a cold day and we have had snow today so it has left me reading all sorts of information on the computer.
I find it so sad the way our past relatives worked in such danger with no protection and suffered so much illness.
Asbestos is my subject that I soak up every bit of info and I was reading how women went out to work in the wartime so they too worked in such dangers.
Away from the kitchen and house work they breathed in the dangerous fibers that their menfolk were breathing in. So not secondary contamination anymore from what was bought into the home but out there in factories etc.
We forget that so many women did work so that it filled the gap when their men were enlisted into the forces in wartime I share it here with you.
As World War Two raged on throughout Europe and the Pacific, men were called up to fight for their country. An often overlooked and understated element of the war effort has been the contributions of women on the homefront during wartime. As men left their factory jobs to go and fight, women stepped up to produce the heavy machinery needed for the war and at home to keep the country running. Women quickly picked up and excelled at historically male-dominated trades such as welding, riveting and engine repair. Women were essential for the production and supply of goods to our troops fighting abroad. Their efforts during wartime refuted the misconception that women are incapable of manual and technical laboring.
Though these women showed up at the factories to offer their services for the war effort, some employers still tried to deny them equal pay. Before the war, employers often classified work into “male” and “female” jobs, paying the “female” jobs less. When the war came, employers automatically classified the newer positions as “female” jobs so they would not have to pay as much. Some union officials attacked these classifications and demanded “equal pay for equal work”. These officials were not only interested in securing fair pay for the women. They were also concerned that after the war, veterans would return to work and find that they had suffered pay cuts and reductions because their jobs had been reclassified as “female” positions while they were fighting overseas.
After the war, many women faced problems when their jobs were given to male veterans who were returning to work. Women who wished to remain in the workforce were transferred back to “female” jobs which received less pay, and often did not have union representation.
For decades, people have believed that only men are diagnosed with mesothelioma. This is false. While men are three to four times as likely to be diagnosed, women are still at risk for mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure.
How Women are Exposed to Asbestos
Most women with mesothelioma are exposed one of three ways: Secondary exposure, environmental exposure or on-the-job exposure.
People often underestimate the role of women in the asbestos industry, but many women began working in factories during WWII.
Secondary exposure is the most common way women came into contact with the deadly mineral. This type of exposure usually occurs when a friend, family member or loved one brings asbestos fibers into the home (usually on work clothes) from an exterior setting.
Environmental exposure can vary from place to place based on what naturally occurring asbestos is present and if there were any mines in the area.
In one study aiming to show the effects of environmental exposure on women, doctors analyzed statistics from an Australian asbestos mining town. Nearly 3,000 women and girls had lived in the town between 1943 and 1992. Through 2004, malignant pleural mesothelioma accounted for eight percent of all deaths in the group of women.
Young girls often performed cobbing, the method used for separating asbestos from crude rock.
Women can also be exposed to asbestos on the job. Historically, occupations commonly exposed to asbestos were filled with men, but some women still took on factory roles that led to dangerous exposure and eventually a mesothelioma diagnosis.
In more recent times, women are at risk for asbestos exposure in many older homes and public buildings, including city halls and schools. Women are also at risk for asbestos exposure during home renovations and DIY projects. People unaware of asbestos in their homes may disturb asbestos materials, which releases airborne asbestos fibers.
Types of Mesothelioma Found in Women
Women are generally susceptible to the same types of mesothelioma as men. The most common type in both women and men, pleural mesothelioma, affects the lining of the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen, is more common in women.
Interestingly, pleural mesothelioma occurs five times more often than peritoneal mesothelioma in men. In women, the pleural type occurs two times more than peritoneal. Both of these mesothelioma diagnoses can be attributed directly to asbestos exposure.
On the other hand, well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma (WDPM) usually develops in young women, typically in their 30s, and it does not have a strong connection to asbestos exposure.
Although WDPM mostly forms in the lining of the abdomen, it has been diagnosed in other areas, such as the lining of the lungs. Those diagnosed with this cancer usually have a better prognosis than average mesothelioma patients. WDPM patients have life expectancies ranging from three years to more than 10 years.